Speeches and Spotlights
As the temperature drops, here's a quick review of recent events and a glimpse of what's on deck for us in the coming year.
I've continued to listen and learn, meeting regularly with students, faculty, staff, business, community and agricultural leaders, and legislators, among others.
I seem to always hear people's passion for the University and desire for us to pursue excellence.
But, not surprisingly, they also expect us to work tirelessly to improve our operations and reduce costs wherever possible to allow more resources to flow into academic, research, and public engagement priorities.
Good afternoon …
As you might suspect, I am going to talk today, mostly, about the intersection of the business community - locally and globally - and the University.
This will be a series of stories, so let me start with one about Curt Carlson, the master salesman to whom we owe so much.
It's a story about a man who graduated from this University in the depths of the Great Depression, a man who was always crafting, honing and selling his brands and their reputation.
By 1991, he had grown many businesses, including the chain of Radisson Hotels.
It came to pass that David Kidwell visited Minneapolis in hopes of becoming the new Dean of our business school.
I am pleased to name Jason Rohloff as the University’s new special assistant to the president for government relations. In this role, Jason will lead the University’s local, state, and federal government relations program and our grassroots advocacy efforts.
I have been saddened by the deeply disturbing reports from Penn State University in recent weeks, and all of us are understandably upset by the horrific allegations of sexual abuse of children by a trusted adult. The repeated accusations of personal and institutional failures to halt the abuse should make all of us in higher education stop and think about our actions if confronted by similar circumstances.
Good morning …
We are a vast institution and a complex organization.
Nearly 70,000 students and more than 20,000 employees.
Our Twin Cities campus is the fourth most populous in the nation. The University is the state's fifth largest employer.
We teach everything — from courses entitled: Physiological Ecology of Plants in Natural and Managed Ecosystems … to one of my favorite courses, in our English Department.
Entitled: "Weird Books by Women."
How's that for diversity!!
Eleven … eleven … eleven.
Special numbers, special day.
For those of you who are historians — and those who are not — on the 11th of November, 1918, at 11 a.m. European time, World War ONE ended.
No one knew then there were would another World War.
Eleven … eleven … at eleven o'clock.
Sadly, of course, wars have continued these past nine decades.
And veterans emerge after defending our country.
In many nations in Europe, what WE call Veterans Day is known as Remembrance Day.
I like that.
In some parts of Belgium, it is even called The Day of Peace.
I like that even better.
I have the answers.
I have the answers to the fundamental questions we're all asking here today:
- Where do jobs come from?
- And how do we create the jobs that Minnesota will need to succeed in the 21st century?
I'm not shy about answering these.
Because the answer is the same: public higher education, our friends at MnSCU and the University of Minnesota.
We deliver jobs for this state.
The University of Minnesota is are our state's only public research University, where innovation is a major part of our business and discovery is an essential platform of our mission.
An op-ed published in the Star Tribune. October 7, 2011.
One hundred days as President of the University of Minnesota is not a very long time. But in that short period I believe I have clearly established the fundamental themes of my administration and the initiatives by which I want to be measured now, and for years to come.
A speech to the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce
September 27, 2011
I plan to leave time at the end for questions-and-answers, but I'd like to jump the gun a bit and ask you a few questions first.
First, how many of you have a degree from the University of Minnesota?
How many of you have a spouse, significant other, son, daughter or grandchild who has a degree from the U?
How many of you have children or grandchildren who aspire to attend the University or are currently attending?
How many of you work with or have hired a University of Minnesota grad?
How many of you root for the Gophers?
Inaugural Speech of Eric W. Kaler
Sixteenth President of the University of Minnesota
Thursday, September 22, 2011, Ted Mann Concert Hall
I first came to the University of Minnesota in September of 1978.
I was about to be 22 years old.
And I was about to be a graduate student in the best chemical engineering program in the world.
I had a fellowship to support me, which was the only way this son of a working class family could go to graduate school.
That was my first encounter with the excellence of this University, and with the mission and public support that made it accessible to me.